Saturday 24 June 2017

BoI hires Credit Suisse to advise it on NAMA loan process

JOE BRENNAN

Bank of Ireland's strong ties with hotshot corporate financier Chris Williams has seen it hire his new employer Credit Suisse to guide it through the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) process.

The Swiss investment bank acted a financial adviser to BoI as it drew up its shareholder circular ahead of next Tuesday's extraordinary general meeting vote on the group's participation in the 'bad bank'.

Still, sources said that BoI lists Mr Williams' former employer Citigroup among its coterie of financial advisers -- particularly as it faces the prospect of going out cap-in-hand to investors over the coming months to raise equity.

Mr Williams, a banker with close ties to the UK government and 22 years of experience, jumped ship from Citigroup to Credit Suisse last year. He had led the Citigroup team that advised Bank of Ireland last year on its €3.5bn bailout from the State. While with the American group, he advised the UK government on the formulation of its Asset Protection Scheme, Chancellor Alistair Darling's alternative to Ireland's NAMA.

Veteran

Other deals the veteran advised on over the past decade include: Royal Bank of Scotland's takeover of NatWest; Barclays abortive bid for ABN Amro; and the UK government's options for Northern Rock.

BoI's egm on Tuesday comes weeks after shareholders at rival Allied Irish Banks gave it the go-ahead to participate in NAMA. The agency takes over the first €19bn of risky property loans, relating to the country's top 10 developers, next month.

All €80bn of loans are expected to be transferred by October, with NAMA chief executive Brendan McDonagh confirming this week he sees no reason why discounts on the loans will be different from the Government's original 30pc estimate.

Irish Independent

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